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Who would want to be a United fan?

Sat Dec 15, 2007 2:13 am

Who would want to be a United Fan?
- One fans view of my 'lean' years -
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What Manchester United means to each supporter may be different: Some may have been born to the club living a stones throw from the ground and claim United as their local club. Some may have been bred into the club with a United loving parent indoctrinating the sapling into the United family. Some may have fallen in love with the club in recent years as they were raised on quality attacking football and the resulting success since 1992. Success in the past 16 years has made it easy to be a United fan. It was not always so, as I found out.

Here is my checkered life as a United supporter. Enjoy. (warning: early memory may be a little faded)

I am 4. I am excited. My Dad is taking me to watch my first football today. He likes to wear red hats and when he sits in his armchair beside the fire, he talks with Uncle John about Manchester United. Uncle John likes Manchester United too. I know some Manchester United words; Best, Charlton, Law and Cwerelelund (I cant say that word properly yet) ... and Kidd. These are my favorite words. I live in Manchester so I love Manchester United. Manchester United play football, which is my favorite game. My Dad loves United and I want to be just like him so I love them too. Manchester United always win, every game. I love Manchester United.

I am 5. I am a little scared. I dont know what is happening but everyone is jumping around in some water and there are big stone lions which look really good. Lots of people look happy and are singing and dancing but I am still a little scared. My Dad and me went on a train to a big town called London to watch United, but we couldnt get into the ground because the ticket man in the pub wanted lots of money that my Dad didnt have today. So, we stood on the street and watched the game on a TV set through a shop window. There were lots of televisions in this shop window all in a long line and all of them showed the game. United won. They always win. It must have been an important game because someone gave Bobby Charlton a big cup after the game. My Dad said it was so big I could stand up inside it and only my hat would stick out the top. He told me to remember this day, as it would live with me all my life. I dont know why but it must be a really big thing.

I am 6. I play football in school now. Thats great. Lots of my friends like United and some others like City. City is another football team in Manchester. They are winning cups so they must be a little bit good. United is better though. My favorite player is George Best. I have a real United shirt just smaller to fit me and my Mum cut up an old pillowcase and sowed his number on the back. I want to be George Best when I grow up. I get sad though when my Dad cant take me to all the games. He goes every week but said I am too small to go every week yet. I dont know when I will be big enough but it might be soon. He takes me sometimes though and thats good.

I am 7. Now I understand. I learnt about Admiral Nelson in a history class today and the battle of Trafalgar and it reminded me of that night in London. That place in London was called Trafalgar Square and United won the European Cup. City keep winning cups as well but not as big as the one United won. United havent won any more cups but I still like them. Nelson must be the man that invented football shirts too because some of them have Admiral on them.

I am 10: I hate "city". They win everything and United dont. All my friends are starting to support City just because they are winning cups and things. I dont like those friends anymore. I still like United and I go to every home game now because my Dad gave me my own special ticket to go whenever I want. I can even stand at the front by the corner flag on my own now and my Dad doesnt stand with me anymore. He still likes to stand at the back with his grown up friends from his pub. George Best doesnt play for United anymore. I dont know why but my Dad said he had "growing up problems" and has gone to live in another country.

I am 11: I want to die! All my friends keep laughing at me because United got relegated. They play in the second division now but we have this really good manager and we bought lots of really good players so we might go back up quickly. I have a paper-round now so I can buy my own ticket. Dad helps me a little bit though as I only get a pound a week. I will still go to all the matches even though it isnt in the top league.

I am 12: United went straight back up. We are going to win the league next season we have the best football team in the world. I love the "Doc" he is so funny.

I am 13: We didnt win the league, but.... WOW! United are in the FA cup final, this will be the first cup I remember United winning. Everyone said we will win 6-0 as we are playing a team from the second division. My Dad got tickets from this man he knows and we are going to London on the train. ..... I want to die! We lost. It isnt fair. I am not crying, something went in my eye.

I am 14: WOW! We are in the FA Cup final again. We are playing Liverpool. We should have won the league this season but Liverpool has a really good team and win everything normally. Next year we will win the league, I just know it. I think we will lose today but I hope we dont.... and we didnt! I cant believe it. We won something. The first time we have won anything in 9 years!!!

I am 15: United is the best! We didnt win the league again but for the third year we are in the FA Cup final. FA Cups finals are so exciting. Getting a ticket is difficult this year but if we cant get one my Dad and me will watch FA Cup final Grandstand from 9 O'clock in the morning. It is a big day. .... I hate Arsenal. I hate that curly haired Arsenal player. I hate everything. Shut up!

I am 15, 16, 17... We will win the league next season. It must be our turn! We get so close and then lose it ... God I hate Liverpool.

I am 18: Another FA Cup. But we want the league. Why cant we win it?

I am 30... I sit listening to the radio. I cant believe it. Leeds have lost. That means we have won the first Premiership. Our first league trophy since I started supporting the club. 26 years long wait. I still cant believe it. Someone pinch me!

The rest is probably more familiar to you. You will have your own memories and experiences of some great teams and greater triumphs since 1992/93.

We are truly blessed. We have lived in the golden age. The "Fergie Years".

In the first 100 years of our history, we achieved a total of 7 League Championships, 1 European Cup and 6 FA Cups. In the last 20 we have won a further 8 league championships, 3 European cups, including 1 Champions League, 5 FA Cups, 2 League Cups and the World Club championship.

At the helm of this success stands the rock that is Sir Alex Ferguson. Before he came to our club we were bridesmaids waiting at the steps in hope that we could snatch the bouquet dropped by the bride, living in hope of just one league success and eating the scraps left over from their triumphs. Before Sir Alex we had a run down stadium, poor training facilities, a complete lack of a youth program and, of course, no real success, for an entire generation of fans.

Whatever drives us to support United today, we can all agree that we have witnessed one of the greatest periods in our history. Perhaps it is over, for now, perhaps it is just gearing up to take another huge steps forward. I wait with anticipppppp.......... ation to find out.

Sir Alex... it is over to you. God Bless ya!

(first written 2005© Condor)

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Re: Who would want to be a United fan?

Sat Dec 15, 2007 1:17 pm

I don't know how many time's I've read this.

Brilliant Condor, Thanks.

Can't imagine most of the old TR members supporting United between Sir Matt's era and Sir Alex's era. I sometimes can't imagine myself actually.
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Re: Who would want to be a United fan?

Sat Dec 15, 2007 4:33 pm

For us young'uns reading accounts of experiences from the past has a sense of mystique about it. It fills me up with a feeling that's quite difficult to explain but I know people will understand what I'm talking about. The other day I was given a pleasant christmas gift, quite accidently. I went to dinner with a bunch of mates and one of my teachers at uni. Dr. D started recounting events from his past and mentioned that he went to university in Manchester. I asked him if he ever went to watch United and it turned out that he was actually a fan, he went to see the babes play many many times and he lived 200m from Sir Matt! That was the first time that I had spoken face to face with someone who had actually seen Duncan Edwards and co live on many occasions. He was quite surprised that I was a fan myself and he started telling me what it was like to actually watch the babes play, how relaxed the relationship was between fans and players and how that relationship has changed with time and of course his memory of Munich. It was a fascinating discussion and one that I will cherish forever.

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Re: Who would want to be a United fan?

Sun Dec 16, 2007 10:31 pm

Absolutely Brilliant!
i think i have read this article over a dozen times but it still feels the same every time.
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Re: Who would want to be a United fan?

Mon Dec 17, 2007 6:44 am

did you rescue that from the ld tr,

thats a great piece condor

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Re: Who would want to be a United fan?

Mon Dec 17, 2007 7:39 am

brilliant read Condor.

I feel so small when I read about the likes of you the older supporters.

I can't imagine 26 years without a league championship these days. it's funny how we get so upset when losing one game to Bolton compared to so many years without any title.

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Re: Who would want to be a United fan?

Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:16 am

Sir Fred wrote:did you rescue that from the ld tr,

thats a great piece condor

Sort of. I was the original author of course so had it saved as a word file. I never start long post/articles like that on a message board - always lose them when I click send - so I write it in word then copy across the text and format the heading etc on the board. Much easier and safer.

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Re: Who would want to be a United fan?

Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:11 pm

this is such an amazing read, thank you so much!

its so great for us young fans to hear the stories from others who have supported united all their life and have been through so much with the club.

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Re: Who would want to be a United fan?

Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:04 pm

A great read again Condor. I remember those lean years well. Monday mornings at school was always a trial, depending on the scores from over the weekend. One of my mates was a Leeds fan and the other a Liverpool fan(okay forgive me I was at school then, still learning ;) As I have got older I choose my mates more wisely now. I remember after the F.A cup final in 1977, I think I was first through the school gates that Monday, you couldn't slap the grin off my face when my mates got to school that day.


To this day I still thank my older brother for leading me down the right path, one that I have never strayed from and never will. RED FOR LIFE

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Re: Who would want to be a United fan?

Sat Dec 29, 2007 6:16 am

Cheers condor!!! Its not easy to remember everything year by year...really appreciate you sharing. ;)

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Re: Who would want to be a United fan?

Sat Dec 29, 2007 10:16 am

Siamak Khaledi wrote:brilliant read Condor.

I feel so small when I read about the likes of you the older supporters.

I can't imagine 26 years without a league championship these days. it's funny how we get so upset when losing one game to Bolton compared to so many years without any title.
Well you shouldn't - remember United is a family, and families have youngsters as well, you've proved your love of The Club by the fact you're always in Legends


I can't remember making a choice about who to support, I think the first words I said were Duncan Edwards - I remember hearing the name Tommy Taylor, our Budgie was called Roger Byrne and there was also someone called "Swivel Hips"

I can distinctly remember Dad coming in from the back kitchen were he was having a shave, face still covered in lather, the razor in his hand and turning the volume up on the wireless, something about a plane crash was on, and Dad, Granddad and Nan just sitting down on the sofa crying, It was strange I'd never seen grown ups crying before

Then there is another crystal clear memory, I was sitting on Dads shoulders watching the hearses parade past, people were openly weeping in the crowded streets - The Great Team was dead


The next sort of memory is around about 1960 I can remember going to watch United, I can't remember anything about the game, I was still only 6 or maybe 7, I can remember the huge crowd

Then the papers are full of this new signing and the massive amount of money he cost I started cutting out his pictures from the paper and sticking them on the wall, Denis Law - future King

Then I was 9, and I was outside playing when Dad started shouting for me to come in, Denis had just put United 1-0 up in the Semi-Final against Southampton, we were going to Wembley.

The Cup Final is the first proper game I ever saw United play, Dad had got tickets for the Final but he went with Everton Brian I stayed at home with the TV, didn't matter, I'd already fallen in love with the Lawman (the real one not me) and when he banged home his first goal Dad reckoned he heard me above the Wembley crowd, it was wonderful watching that game, especially as in the previous years the teams we had supported had all lost - Burnley and Leicester City - the team we beat

Then a few months later Dad came home from the match and he was raving about this kid who had made his début - "His names Best and he will BE the Best" Dad made the most stupid statement I've ever heard "He'll have his name in lights" Sure Dad, he's not Paul McCartney or Marty Wilde you know,

It was the Cup Tie against Sunderland that turned me from a fan who could get by with Charles Buchans Football Monthly and the occasional second half radio commentary After going to Old Trafford when I was old enough to soak up the atmosphere I was hooked

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Re: Who would want to be a United fan?

Sat Dec 29, 2007 10:46 am

isnt' it funny.......from the lean yrs when it was probably really who would want to be a united fan to our time when growing up it was more like who wouldn't want to be a united fan...............
brilliant read condor...........absolutely loved it........and lawman......nice to readur piece too.......reading about ur dad turning on the wireless and the crash........
i wish my story was like urs too but the first i remember of manchester united on tv was a game back in 1992.........the asian world cup qualifiers were going to take place and my dad and uncle having both been former national team players were interested...so we got cable at home for the first time.for football.........i used to watch sports all the time having come from a sporting family (dad playde for the national footy team and mom was national team in table tennis)......neways.......i remember this match....it was agianst crystal palace of nottingham forest.......we lost that match......but i remember watching utd play and i was a fan after that......it was only after that .......that i started to follow united and the news of cantona and keano and later giggsy and the other fledglings........there was no turning back............
i do not have utd bed sheets or calendars and posters and stuff.......i do have a few of shirts but i believe that being a utd fan is more than jsut having utd stuff.......its in the heart......i've written this before in TR..........with united u don't choose the club...the club chooses u.............and i am blessed to have been chosen.......
"I play to fight.....the idea of losing" - Le King Eric Cantona

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Re: Who would want to be a United fan?

Sat Dec 29, 2007 11:41 am

Lawman wrote:
Siamak Khaledi wrote:brilliant read Condor.

I feel so small when I read about the likes of you the older supporters.

I can't imagine 26 years without a league championship these days. it's funny how we get so upset when losing one game to Bolton compared to so many years without any title.
Well you shouldn't - remember United is a family, and families have youngsters as well, you've proved your love of The Club by the fact you're always in Legends


I can't remember making a choice about who to support, I think the first words I said were Duncan Edwards - I remember hearing the name Tommy Taylor, our Budgie was called Roger Byrne and there was also someone called "Swivel Hips"

I can distinctly remember Dad coming in from the back kitchen were he was having a shave, face still covered in lather, the razor in his hand and turning the volume up on the wireless, something about a plane crash was on, and Dad, Granddad and Nan just sitting down on the sofa crying, It was strange I'd never seen grown ups crying before

Then there is another crystal clear memory, I was sitting on Dads shoulders watching the hearses parade past, people were openly weeping in the crowded streets - The Great Team was dead


The next sort of memory is around about 1960 I can remember going to watch United, I can't remember anything about the game, I was still only 6 or maybe 7, I can remember the huge crowd

Then the papers are full of this new signing and the massive amount of money he cost I started cutting out his pictures from the paper and sticking them on the wall, Denis Law - future King

Then I was 9, and I was outside playing when Dad started shouting for me to come in, Denis had just put United 1-0 up in the Semi-Final against Southampton, we were going to Wembley.

The Cup Final is the first proper game I ever saw United play, Dad had got tickets for the Final but he went with Everton Brian I stayed at home with the TV, didn't matter, I'd already fallen in love with the Lawman (the real one not me) and when he banged home his first goal Dad reckoned he heard me above the Wembley crowd, it was wonderful watching that game, especially as in the previous years the teams we had supported had all lost - Burnley and Leicester City - the team we beat

Then a few months later Dad came home from the match and he was raving about this kid who had made his début - "His names Best and he will BE the Best" Dad made the most stupid statement I've ever heard "He'll have his name in lights" Sure Dad, he's not Paul McCartney or Marty Wilde you know,

It was the Cup Tie against Sunderland that turned me from a fan who could get by with Charles Buchans Football Monthly and the occasional second half radio commentary After going to Old Trafford when I was old enough to soak up the atmosphere I was hooked
great read. and thanks for your support :)

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Re: Who would want to be a United fan?

Sun Dec 30, 2007 12:18 pm

Really great read and you own all my respect (Y)

Fans like you are the foundation of every club. Good or bad times won´t matter - you´ll always stay loyal. All those fans bitching around after a loss (just look at the board formerly known as TR) should be fined (actually it´s a reward) reading this thread :!:
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Re: Who would want to be a United fan?

Sun Dec 30, 2007 1:14 pm

Thanks Condor and Lawman

Great Read (Y)

I don't think I could ever be that loyal but I'll try.

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Re: Who would want to be a United fan?

Sun Dec 30, 2007 1:48 pm

This is indeed one amazing reading, one of my top favorites, as someone said it's not easy being so loyal for 26years, I'm not sure I would have started supporting United at that time, I would now if that ever happens as I've already grown to loving them, not sure how many would.

Thanks for that.
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Re: Who would want to be a United fan?

Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:42 am

Another fantastic read. Knowing what you have been through as a United fan makes me feel very small and humble.

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Re: Who would want to be a United fan?

Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:25 am

nice read.. i'm at the office and love to read and post here... :lol: there's work but still i love to read and post to know more about united's history.. i really like your post condor.. and we already know your age too.. just kidding... :D
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Re: Who would want to be a United fan?

Mon Jan 07, 2008 5:44 pm

BayernUnited wrote:Really great read and you own all my respect (Y)

Fans like you are the foundation of every club. Good or bad times won´t matter - you´ll always stay loyal. All those fans bitching around after a loss (just look at the board formerly known as TR) should be fined (actually it´s a reward) reading this thread :!:
I agree with you Dirk, loyal fans are the foundation of every club. True fans are the ones that stick by their club through the good and the bad times.

Thanks Condor, what a brilliant read! ;) Thanks for sharing with us! :)
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Re: Who would want to be a United fan?

Mon Jan 07, 2008 9:05 pm

I would post my own thoughts on this subject but to be honest, they are almost exactly the same as Condors! Though I cant quite remember the 1st European Cup win, I shared the pain of relegation, the elation of the breathtaking football we played to get promotion, the near misses in the league, growing to hate liverpool for constantly snatching the title from our grasp, the FA Cup wins and on to the Fergie years!

The only difference I can think of is that my mum got me a "united" shirt (no such thing as replica shirts then!) it was just a red shirt with white cuffs and collar and she got some white material and sewed a Number 10 on the back..yes I was a Lawfan too mainly because I loved his unique goal celebration anc copied it ALL the time! ;)

Happy memories and a great read.
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Re: Who would want to be a United fan?

Mon Jan 07, 2008 9:19 pm

RedSte wrote:I would post my own thoughts on this subject but to be honest, they are almost exactly the same as Condors! Though I cant quite remember the 1st European Cup win, I shared the pain of relegation, the elation of the breathtaking football we played to get promotion, the near misses in the league, growing to hate liverpool for constantly snatching the title from our grasp, the FA Cup wins and on to the Fergie years!

The only difference I can think of is that [pen]my mum got me a "united" shirt (no such thing as replica shirts then!) it was just a red shirt with white cuffs and collar[/pen] and she got some white material and sewed a Number 10 on the back..yes I was a Lawfan too mainly because I loved his unique goal celebration anc copied it ALL the time! ;)

Happy memories and a great read.

Thats right. My 6 year old perception was that it was genuine (why I refered to it as a "real united shirt") I often wondered how my Mum managed to shrink a real players shirt so much to fit me ;) ..... but in reality it was exactly as you described it. A plain red shirt, white collarand white cuffs. No badge or anything.

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Re: Who would want to be a United fan?

Mon Jan 07, 2008 9:26 pm

Condor wrote:
RedSte wrote:I would post my own thoughts on this subject but to be honest, they are almost exactly the same as Condors! Though I cant quite remember the 1st European Cup win, I shared the pain of relegation, the elation of the breathtaking football we played to get promotion, the near misses in the league, growing to hate liverpool for constantly snatching the title from our grasp, the FA Cup wins and on to the Fergie years!

The only difference I can think of is that [pen]my mum got me a "united" shirt (no such thing as replica shirts then!) it was just a red shirt with white cuffs and collar[/pen] and she got some white material and sewed a Number 10 on the back..yes I was a Lawfan too mainly because I loved his unique goal celebration anc copied it ALL the time! ;)

Happy memories and a great read.

Thats right. My 6 year old perception was that it was genuine (why I refered to it as a "real united shirt") I often wondered how my Mum managed to shrink a real players shirt so much to fit me ;) ..... but in reality it was exactly as you described it. A plain red shirt, white collarand white cuffs. No badge or anything.

i had one of those as well, practically all nylon, itched like mad and made you sweat something chronic, I think mine came from Grattans catalogue.

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Re: Who would want to be a United fan?

Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:34 am

I remember that you could buy a full kit though, they came in a boxed set - there were 6 main ones - The Denis Law Football Strip - John Charles, Johnny Giles, Jimmy Greaves, Bobby Moore and Derek Dougan
And the reason why whose players got picked apart from being popular was you could buy the same players International Football Strip

The thing was, you could go into a sports shop and buy the same thing, shirt socks and shorts for under ten bob - the boxed kit cost 17 and six - because it had a printed autographed picture on the lid, and contained a "personal letter" from "Your favourite player"

In the late sixties Liverpool started selling a replica of their team shirt, and the scousers did something that really pissed me off no end, and the reason was, --- it was a brilliant idea -

What they did was buy the shirt and then rip the badge off, back then it was the big white oval badge with a huge red Liver Bird and the words Liverpool Football Club on, and they sewed it on their wrangler jackets --- It really looked great - a brilliant idea, I think it's the only one they've ever had

The idea of wearing replica shirts to matches didn't exist then, it wouldn't have caught on anyway, in fact it would have been a stupid idea, with all the violence that went on in the 70s sometimes it was better to remain anonymous

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Re: Who would want to be a United fan?

Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:38 am

its really sad that the violance in other countries still goes on 30years later.......


everybody nowdays has a replica shirt, its what makes sport a huge business

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Re: Who would want to be a United fan?

Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:45 am

Thank you so much...

Whenever I read your's and Lawfan's stories, I really feel like I am traveling through time. You both have an amazing gift for capturing the sights, smells, and sounds of the time.......

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